You've heard all the buzzwords: global marketplace, global network, global this, global that. Yes, the world is getting smaller, and these days, no one blinks an eye when an American boasts of doing business with China, marketing a product in the Ukraine or setting up shop in the land down under.
By the same token, foreigners are coming to the United States in record numbers to do business and study. In the 1995-96 school year, 453,000 foreigners attended a U.S. college or university, compared with just 154,000 in 1974-75. And that's not counting the hordes of business executives who traverse the Atlantic or the Pacific each year to do some wheeling and dealing American-style.
Sometimes the only thing standing between a foreigner and the American dream is the perplexing English language, with its fast-changing slang and impossible pronunciations. What other language has so many pronunciations for a single letter? For native English speakers, it's no problem, but for the rest of the world, it can be a real tongue twister.
Now, what's considered a stumbling block to foreigners has opened a wealth of opportunity in the States for schools that teach English as a second language (ESL).